And the commissioners went away from the conference with Philip in such fashion as to advertise the fact that nothing in his conduct pleased them, and Philip
had no doubt at all that he would have to resort to war.
Yet, since his strength was still insufficient for that, in order to cause delay, he determined to send his younger son Demetrius1
to Rome, partly to explain away the charges against him, partly to turn aside the wrath of the senate, being well persuaded that he, even though a young man, because while he was a hostage at Rome he had shown signs of possessing a kingly nature, would have some influence.
Meanwhile, setting out under the pretence of bringing aid to the Byzantines, but in reality in order to inspire the chiefs of the Thracians with fear, having defeated them in one battle and captured their leader Amadocus, he returned to Macedonia, sending agents to stir up the barbarians2
living along the Hister river, to the end that they might invade Italy.
In the Peloponnesus also the coming of the Roman3
commissioners, who had been ordered to proceed from Macedonia to Achaia, was being awaited; and in order that they might have their arguments prepared in advance with which to confront the Romans, the praetor Lycortas called a council.
There the question concerned the Lacedaemonians: from enemies they had turned accusers, and there was danger that in defeat they would prove more to be feared than they had been when at war.
In the war, they reflected, the Achaeans had had the Romans as allies: now the same Romans were more favourably disposed towards the Lacedaemonians than towards the Achaeans, in a situation where even Areus and Alcibiades, both exiles,4
restored through Achaean influence, had undertaken an embassy to Rome against the Achaean people which had deserved so well of them, and had expressed sentiments so hostile that they seemed to have been driven from their country, not restored to it.
A cry went up from all sides that the praetor should offer a motion concerning them by name; and since everything was governed by passion, not deliberation, they were condemned to death. A few days later the Roman commissioners arrived. A council was called for them at Clitor in Arcadia.